HBO has provided a training blog taken from an interview on Monday with RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in advance of his June 7 HBO Pay-Per-View defense against former three-division titlist Miguel Cotto fight at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts) of Argentina has been champion for four years since defeating Kelly Pavlik by a bloody unanimous decision in April 2010.. Martinez hasn't tasted defeat since December 2009 during a "Fight of the Year"-caliber brawl with Paul Williams but at 39, has begun to slow down precipitously. He may be ripe for the taking against Cotto.
Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) will be working in just his second fight with trainer Freddie Roach as Cotto ascends to the middleweight division to target a title in his fourth weight class. In their first fight together, in October, Cotto, 33, dominated junior middleweight contender Delvin Rodriguez, stopping him in three rounds.
Cotto has, at times, trained alongside his former foe Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood with Roach.
Martinez has vowed to slice up Cotto, who is prone to cuts. Williams, Kelly Pavlik, Matthew Macklin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. were all left with badly bleeding faces after losses to Martinez. In addition, Darren Barker suffered a perforated eardrum during an 11th-round stoppage loss to Martinez and Sergei Dzinziruk was dropped five times en route to an eighth-round knockout loss.
Martinez has risen from the canvas during each of his past three fights comprised of an 11th-round stoppage of Macklin and unanimous decision victories over Chavez and Martin Murray, the latter being Martinez's last fight in April 2013.
Martinez is 7-0 with four knockouts since falling to Williams, having avenged that loss by stopping Williams in the second round in November 2010. The win over Williams was in defense of the WBC belt Martinez won from Pavlik.
After the Chavez fight, Martinez received eight stitches to repair a cut over his left eye, two staples in his head and suffered from both a broken left hand and torn ligaments in his right knee, the latter of which required surgery to repair.
Martinez required a second surgery after having damaged the knee injury, later determined to be a torn right meniscus, after his triumph over Murray.
Question for Sergio Martinez: Fighting with injuries to your knee, elbow and wrist, how hard is it to prepare when your body hurts for any fight?
"It is not easy to prepare for a fight when you have some of the ailments that I have when preparing for a world championship fight. I struggle with joint pains, knee pain and shoulder pain.
"Without my physical therapist, Dr. Raquel Bordons, I would not be able to train today and probably would've had to retire due to my injuries. Because I train six days a week for an average of eight hours a day, I am always in constant pain.
"There are some days when I am so sore that I cannot even walk but I push myself because I know that I have to push myself to be the best fighter in the world. I know that I have to put in more hours than your average fighter because I didn't grow up a boxer.
"I started very late in this sport, so that is why I have to train so many hours and put in a lot of work in order to perform at the level that is expected of me and for me to come out victorious."